The Community Phone team is proud to send out our seventh monthly TeleGraham, where we share some exciting news and profile a few of our most creative customers. Welcome to our new customers! As a little reminder, our plans start at $15/month and all come with unlimited calls and texts. New smartphones, including iPhones, start at only $5/month. Also, with our Care to Share Program, if someone signs up for our service with your recommendation, you both receive a free month of cell service up to $75 each!
Co-Founder and COO Teaching at Staples
We're thrilled to announce that, on May 9th, our co-founder and Chief Operating Officer John LaGue is going to be teaching a class at the Staples Pro-Services Center. Staples invited John to speak about the telecommunications industry. Specifically, he will be discussing how we can all save on our bills and how many providers actively overcharge their customers. If you have ever wondered how Community Phone has been able to keep our prices so reasonable while also providing personalized customer support, come on by and meet John! We'd also recommend the session to business owners because John will be demonstrating our proprietary tool for lead generation through social media messaging. The talk is on May 9 from 7-9pm at 1660 Soldiers Field Road, Boston, MA 02135. John's excited to see you there! Click to RSVP to John's Talk!
Has your phone company mistreated you?
This month we're happy to be launching https://fcccomplaints.com/, an easy online service that helps you file a complaint against your cell phone provider. In our experience, 100% of these complaints have resulted in positive outcomes for customers. A year ago, when we started Community Phone, one of the ways we tried to help people struggling with their current phone providers was to guide them through the Federal Communications Commission complaint process. We have seen these complaints cause real retribution on behalf of abused customers. We decided to write a blog post about the complaints process, and we are now launching a simplified complaint form that goes directly to the FCC. If you have been mistreated by your phone company, the FCC may be able to help. Simply fill out this form! Click to File a Complaint Here! Click to Read Our FCC Complaints Blog!
Recommending a kind and impactful business!
Our other co-founder, James Graham, has spent this month in San Francisco working with other startup founders who are trying to change their industries. There have been dozens of inspiring companies, from artificial intelligence businesses hoping to change scientific research to real estate firms planning vertically integrated cities. One particularly special company touched James's heart. The Hog Island Oyster Farm Company is a farm and restaurant chain based in Point Reyes, which is about an hour north of San Francisco. James drove through fifty miles of dairy farms and sheep pastures to find the beautiful oyster farm, the final stop their tasty oysters take before heading to plates in the city. James was lucky enough to be brought around the farm by one of the farm's first employees, who has helped run the operation for decades. James learned about the life-cycle of oysters, the ways weather changes require quick business decisions, and how Hog Island Oyster Company has become famous for the way it treats its employees. In all, the Hog Island Oyster Company is the type of business Community Phone aspires to be. While they offer a stellar product, their focus does not end there. They care above all about the respect and empowerment their employees and customers deserve. James is grateful to his lovely tour guide, and the whole company, for this important lesson. Click Here To Read About the Hog Island Oyster Company!
Free Bill Consultations
This month, we'd like to remind you all that we're offering free bill consultations online and in our Boston pop-up location. If you are worried that you're spending too much on your cell phone bill or if you simply want to have a better understanding of what you're buying, one of our representatives can walk through your bill with you, line by line. We are trained to spot any places where your current provider is overcharging you. Plus, we're happy to recommend the best phone company for your needs, even if it does not turn out to be Community Phone (though we'd love to have you)! Feel free to email your bill to firstname.lastname@example.org, message us at CommunityPhone.org (the messenger is the little dialogue box in the right bottom corner), or meet us at our Boston pop-up at 31 Church St., Cambridge, MA 02134.
A Brief History of Telecommunications
In the monthly Member Spotlight, we showcase one of our wonderful members, to show how extraordinary members in the Community really are. Just for this month, we have chosen to show you our telecommunications exhibit. Next month our typical member spotlight will be returning! This month's spotlight features our exhibit on the History of Telecommunications, which is currently located in our Boston pop-up. We wanted non-Boston members to be able to learn a bit about telecommunications history! The images and captions are identical to those in our shop. We hope you enjoy.
On the right: Alexander Graham Bell, an inventor from childhood, dreamt of the telephone: "If I could make a current of electricity vary in intensity precisely as the air varies in density during the production of sound, I should be able to transmit speech telegraphically." Three days after Graham Bell was awarded a patent for this idea, on March 10, 1876, he made the first-ever phone call from his shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Graham Bell then established the Bell Telephone Company, and within 10 years more than 100,000 households in the United States owned telephones. On the left: Thomas Watson worked with Graham Bell to develop the first telephone, which he is holding in this image. Watson received the first phone call from Bell in 1876, as well as the first-ever transcontinental phone call, also from Bell, 39 years later.
On the left: Cambridge native Gardiner Greene Hubbard, Graham Bell's father-in-law, helped found the Bell Telephone Company on July 9, 1877 and was its first president, alongside his work founding and leading National Geographic and the journal Science. On the right: On September 1, 1878, Emma Nutt became the first-ever female telephone operator, hired by Graham Bell. Her voice was so soothing and cultured that the systematically brash male operators were entirely replaced by women. Rumor has it that she could remember ever number in the New England Telephone Company directory.
By the early 20th century, virtually all phone operators were women. Despite their roles being necessary for every single phone call, they were treated terribly by Cambridge-based New England Phone Company managers, overworked and randomly forced into punishment rooms. The operators were not supported by the all-male telephone unions. On April 15, 1919, the operators went on the strike depicted here. Within five days, phone service crumbled, forcing management to give the operators a pay increase and recognition of their newly formed union. Lewis Latimer, the son of a slave and a Chelsea Massachusetts native, drafted the patent for Graham Bell's first telephone in 1876. He later invented the carbon filament light bulb, making electricity affordable and accessible to everyday households.
In 1927 Vannevar Bush, Dean of Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Engineering, invented an analog computer with some digital parts that could solve differential equations in calculus with as many as 18 independent variables, equations that were utterly impossible for humans to solve and until that point unsolvable for computers as well. This invention paved the way for modern digital computers.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Claude Shannon is known as "the father of information theory." He developed the first method for encoding information so that a digital circuit can transmit it, a necessity for modern telecommunications. In 1950 he developed the first artificial intelligence advice that could learn how to find a target. The device was this little electronic mouse named "Theseus." Join The Community (https://www.communityphone.org/)